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Chart Podcast is here ...

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Gabriel Gilson Gabriel Gilson | 12:14 UK Time, Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Pictiure of a cyclist in a misty landscape

Gabriel Gilson on polyphonic cycling and our Specialist Classical Chart podcast.

Not surprisingly in this time of change, I've found myself looking at all the things I value about my job and how closely they fit with the things I really like doing in life. Luckily for me, MUSIC runs slap bang through the middle of both of them.

And it's not just the notes. I'm also mildly obsessed with how the music is delivered and how technology affects the way we listen now. Since we introduced the Live HD stream, I've listened to more Radio 3 than ever before. I'm distraught that many music download services don't offer 'lossless' files. Which brings me to the weekly dose of the specialist classical chart.

This podcast (free download if you prefer) has entered my life at the number one spot in the list of 'things to listen to while I cycle to work'. It's not so loud that I can't hear the buses, but it takes my mind off the hills and stops me writing PowerPoints in my head (don't ask). Trying to remember the pieces I really like is interesting too. It's very hard to write a list on a bike. I'm also enjoying finding out about musicians I was in danger of taking for granted, such as John Eliot Gardiner and his Bach obsession. Sadly it turns out Bach is terrible to cycle to. You just can't hear the counterpoint. Whereas a combination of Tallis's soaring polyphony and the ride through Highgate Woods as the early morning sunshine burns off the mist is about as good a way to start the day as I can think of...

And the podcast is here, available every Tuesday at round about midday. You can also get it from all your favourite podcast subscription services.

Gabriel Gilson is Interactive Editor for BBC Radio 3, Performing Groups and the Proms



  • Comment number 1.

    Chart Podcast: keep it, drop it or recycle it?

    Drop it. It's the industry's way of flogging the CDs which are likely to have the biggest sales.

    Why the hell couldn't Radio 3 find a better podcast than that, given that they've apparently been given permission to include more than two minutes' worth of any piece of music? Oh, but that's presumably with the agreement of the music industry which thinks it's a great way to flog more copies of its best-selling CDs.

  • Comment number 2.

    I listen to the chart "live" during my drive to work. I have not sampled the podcast, but I can understand it would be useful to some. Personally, I would keep them both.

    I was intially a little sceptical about the Specialist Classical Chart slot (a bit too Classic FM), but have come to look forward to it.

    The idea of more podcasts of some of the educational programming of Radio 3, as recommended in the BBC Trust's 347 report, would be a good development.

  • Comment number 3.

    having just listened to the ESSAY at 11pm Iwould like to ask for more interesting topics. It is a time of night when a short essay is just right but I couldn't follow any of these as they were badly read and a bit dreary.

    I would welcome essays on sport ( origins, venue history, language etc ) maybe on buildings ( the British Library seems to combine words and art fairly easily). Radio 3 could do any topic in an articulate and erudite way and it would be something different.I know it is expensive to get good contributors but there must be some academics around who can also manage a lively delivery.

  • Comment number 4.


    Are you suggesting the essay should be podcast?

    Possibly a good idea.

  • Comment number 5.

    Gabrial, why is Radio 3 so angry?

  • Comment number 6.

    Why don't you just merge with Classic FM and have done ?


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